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Schubert: Schwanengesang D957 / Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge, Op.121

Schubert: Schwanengesang D957 / Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge, Op.121

3 mai 2001
5.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client

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Détails sur le produit

  • Date de sortie d'origine : 3 mai 2001
  • Date de sortie: 30 janvier 2014
  • Label: Universal Music Division Classics Jazz
  • Copyright: ℗© 2001 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg
  • Métadonnées requises par les maisons de disque: les métadonnées des fichiers musicaux contiennent un identifiant unique d’achat. En savoir plus.
  • Durée totale: 1:05:46
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0025CZLEQ
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client
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Par Lucide le 8 janvier 2017
Format: CD Achat vérifié
De magnifiques interprétations de deux chefs d'oeuvres de géants de la création musicale. Ce sont surtout les Quatre Chants sérieux de Brahms qui m'impressionnent. A écouter en suivant le texte et éventuellement sa traduction. Encore bien plus profond que le Requiem allemand.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Real Heldenleben 21 septembre 2011
Par Gio - Publié sur
Format: CD Achat vérifié
Thomas Quasthoff's triumphant life, despite unimaginable adversities, surely qualifies him for interpreting the "Four Earnest Songs" of Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) with more emotional authenticity than any other baritone I can think of. That wouldn't be enough, of course, if Quasthoff didn't also have a superb 'instrument' - his voice - and equally superb vocal technique. To my ears, the Lieder of Brahms and Schubert are Quasthoff's natural repertoire; I don't enjoy his Bach or his Mahler nearly as much; he lacks the agility for the former and the 'sprezzatura' for the latter. His recordings of Schubert's "Winterreise' and "Schöne Müllerin" -- the latter also accompanied by pianist Justus Zeyen -- have been justly acclaimed and are among my favorites in the genre. This performance, of songs written in the last years of the lives of Brahms and Franz Schubert (1797-1828), moves me deeply. I offer it as my choice for Quasthoff's finest recording.

The fourteen songs conventionally grouped as a cycle and given the title "Schwanengesang" - Swansong - are settings of seven poems by Ludwig Rellstab, six poems by Heinrich Heine, and one anomalously cheerful poem by Johann Seidl. It's only a musicologist's guess that Schubert would have assembled these 14 Lieder into precisely such a cycle; the title "Schwanengesang" was the invention of the publishers of the posthumous first edition. Honestly, I don't think the cycle is well-assembled as such; the seven Rellstab songs make a grand cycle all by themselves, a cycle with potently cogent affect as well as musical unity, while the Heine songs, lovely and delicate as they are, seem clearer and more poignant by themselves. The final Lied, the amourous "Taubenpost", plainly belongs in different company. The Rellstab poems are indeed elegiac -- texts of resignation and 'departure', truly akin to the fabled song of the dying swan -- and Schubert never wrote anything more magnificently sorrowful. As Thomas Quasthoff says about all the songs on this CD: "Here the colors are crucial; they must be dark, severe, somber." But if the Rellstab colors are deeply dark, the Heine songs, like all of Heine's poetry, are of a pastel darkness streaked with nacreous irony.

Brahms apparently composed his Opus 121 "Vier Ernste Gesänge" in 1896, in response to the deaths of several lifelong friends, and in anticipation of the death of Clara Schumann, who had suffered a dreadful stroke. The four Biblical texts, however, are hardly consolatory. The first three are exclamation of despair, scarcely compatible with any Christian hopes of resurrection and eternal bliss. [It seems possible that the fourth song had been composed sometime earlier in Brahms's work-life. The music is utterly fitting in this group, but the text seems oddly disparate.] Here's the translation of the third song, "O Tod wie bitter bist du", taken from the apocryphal Book of Sirach:
""O death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee. O Death, how acceptable is thy sentence unto a man that is needy and that faileth in strength, that is in extreme old age and is distracted in all things, and that looks for no better lot, nor waiteth on better days! O death, how acceptable is thy sentence.""
Brahms's "German Requiem" - perhaps his most deathless music - was also composed at a time of personal grief, following the death of the composer's mother. But the Four Earnest Songs, even with their Biblical texts, are plainly less sanguine about any sort of human imperishability. They are beautifully, bitterly pessimistic.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Stars 1 décembre 2015
Par CJM - Publié sur
Format: CD Achat vérifié
Beautiful. Quasthoff has a voice as wonderful as Fischer-Dieskau's!
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Modern performance 28 avril 2013
Par Dr. Huber - Publié sur
Format: CD Achat vérifié
We needed this recording for a comparison. Quasthoff's performance is simply spectacular and moving, paritularly in the Brahms group. Highly recommended.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Lieder singer at his absolute peak 19 février 2011
Par Ralph Moore - Publié sur
Format: CD
This recording was made in late 2000 when, we may now safely say with the benefit of hindsight, Thomas Quasthoff was at his absolute peak as a singer. It marks both an interpretative and vocal advance over his earlier, already very impressive, Schubert recital and we may marvel afresh at how flexible and even his voice is from the ringing top notes down to the trenchant, teaky bottom. He is billed as a baritone but is essentially a bass-baritone in that he sings the Brahms songs only a tone higher than a true bass like Kurt Moll. He thus combines the colouring of a bass with the ease of a high baritone, so the tessitura of these two song cycles (if we may properly call "Schwanengesang" that) holds no terrors for him; there is never any sense of strain. Listen to the descending passage digging down to a black low G on "Waffenbrüder" in "Kriegers Ahnung". Nor does he have to pull the trick of defaulting into an "arty" half-voice unless he really wants to; hence at times his voice rings out with the heft of an operatic baritone with real Italianate "ping" (such as at the beginning of no. 3 "O Tod"), yet at other times he employs a gentle falsetto such as we hear at the end of the same song.

The accompaniment by pianist Justus Zeyen could not be bettered; he is subtle, nuanced, lilting and impassioned by turns, complementing Quasthoff's every mood with perfectly judged dynamics. I could have done with just a tad more sense of release and bittersweet joy such as Terfel and Fassbaender bring to my favourite song "Die Taubenpost", the last and a late addition to "Schwanengesang". Quasthoff and Zeyen are rather reflective and melancholy here - but Shirley-Quirk does it that way, too and it is very beautiful. On the other hand, the rippling, turbulent cascades in "Liebesbotschaft" which open the whole sequence really make the listener sit up, so intense is the expectation they create. This promise immediately fulfilled when Quasthoff comes in and instantly displays the silky flexibility of his voice.

Another very rewarding aspect of this recording is the clarity of Quasthoff's diction. Yes, of course he is German but his enunciation has special beauty of its own.

The Brahms came out as top recommendation in the recent BBC Radio 3 CD Review survey of current recordings of the "Four Serious Songs"; the miracle of this CD is that you get not only that magnificent performance but the equally masterly "Schwanengesang" both on one disc.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 My Health Problems Now Seem so Foolishly Small-- A giant of a MAN!! An example for us all!! 21 août 2014
Par NUC MED TECH - Publié sur
Format: CD
98-21-2014 One of life's tragedies is the fact that after a mere 31 years, the great composer Franz Peter Schubert died, but on the other hand, one of life's true joys and treasures was the work s he left us with written in his final years. Chiefly amongst the several masterpieces from his career are the "Der Schwanengesang" D. 957, the "Swan Song" cycle from 1828. Also on this DGG disk is the "Vier ernste gesange" by Brahms, the "Four serious songs his op.121 also written late in his life s well. These two sublime Autumnal works give breath to the eloquence of these mighty authors and masters of the lied. Unless scholarship has drastically changes , Schubert is still credited with having written some 900 songs, most of them, I would argue are likely good to very good, as songs go. Then a small minority are classics, and some of them masterpieces, while a rather obscure group might be called "duds." I doubt even Schubert wrote many of those, but,, out of 900, he was bound to have tripped a few times, right? No stumbling here, NO SIREE! All we get on this CD is pure quality from the master himself. Our singer is the German bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff along with pianist Justus Zeyen. Recorded in Munich in December 2000, this release also contains Brahms's "Vier ernste gesange," or his "Four serious songs," Op. 121, written in the 1890's near his Clarinet (viola) Sonatas, Op. 120. the Brahms is popular in recital tours but the Schubert is a giant of the concert repertoire, many scholars feeling it the greatest song cycle of all-time. Perhaps. of the wonderful 14 titles I have my favorites amongst them.
Our singer Mr. Quasthoff suffers from Phocomelia a gross deformity where the limbs either the arms or the legs or all four are foreshortened since embryonic stages and there also is the absence of the pelvis structure. Normal mobility is, naturally totally restricted and as an international artist, TQ has to be carried onto the stage or opera set for performances, but nothing wrong with his golden voice. Indeed he is a "giant" when he opens his mouth, as he is one of the most powerful bass-baritones currently working. He is noted for his Wagner, Bach and even some jazz and is in high demand as a concert and recital artist. he was born in November 1959 in Hildesheim in West Germany. he exhibited the malady of these bones in pre-birth examinations as the result of the administration of Thalidomide for nausea and "morning sickness" as the result of her pregnancy. Mr. Quasthoff is only 4' 4 3/4 " tall.
Denied the Hanover Conservatory due to his inability to learn and play the piano, he studied voice privately and also law for 3 years. he was a radio announcer for NDR for 6 years and did voice-over TV work, as well. A short list is the classical folks who lived with major disabilities, which I always found curious since I might consider accepting deafness if I could write as well as Beethoven, little doubt here. Smetana and Faure had hearing difficulties as well, though I don't know if the Frenchman was totally deaf. Smetana lost I think, 3 daughters and a wife at young ages and he himself went deaf and died in an asylum. Both Andrea Bocelli and Joachim Rodrigo were blind and I just learned that ralph Vaughan Williams also had a hearing problem. Add to this list the number of disabled pianists and you have names like Gary Graffman and Paul Witgenstein, a one-armed pianist also, for whom ravel wrote his Concerto for left hand. Witgenstein lost his right arm in WWI. Also with only the left hand/arm is the astonishing Leon Fleisher, the collaborator with George Szell in Beethoven's 5 Concerti plus other works as well. From our very early study years, Thelma and I still have those odyssey LP's of the concerti by Schumann and Grieg with Fleisher/Szell. TQ hit the big time in 1988 winning a competition in Munich and the high praise of none other than Dietrich Fischer-Diskeau. he premiered in the USA at the Oregon Bach Festival under Rilling, and first appeared in opera, Fidelio, at Salzburg in 2003 under Sir Simon Rattle. He had limited success in 2006/07 at Carnegie Hall and was forced to retire on January 11, 2012 citing continuous health problems. I simply cannot imagine what he must of gone through just to be active and sing for less than 10 years. My admiration of Thomas Quasthoff is in the stratosphere---at the very least!! Finally, in 2000 TQ shared a Grammy with Anne Sophie otter for best Vocal performance in Mahler's " Des Knaben Wunderhorn," accompanied by the BPO under the late Claudio Abbado, another courageous and patient man, passing last year after a long and gallant struggle with Stomach Cancer.
TQ also gives us the "Vier Ernste gesange," of Johannes Brahms. Based on the theme of death as presented in the old testament ( #1 thru #3) and the 4th from the New Test., the composer had his lifelong beloved friend Clara Schumann very much in mind as he had completed the group by his birthday, May 7th. About 12 days earlier, Clara had suffered a stroke and the composer, dreadfully fearful, anticipated her death. Happily she survived and actually passed before Hannes by about ne year. Clara died on May 20, 1896 while her dearest of all friends left this world on April 3, 1897, some 9 + months later on April 3, 1897.
As for the "Der Schwanengesang" cycle, my preferences include songs numbers 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 14. Most are from poems by Ludwig Rellstab, with the #8 by Heinrich Heine, the author whom Hitler despised and whose books he threw into the book burning frenzy. Heine had written, "Where once men burn books, they will eventually burn people," WOW! How true!!
Quasthoff's "Standchen" will bring tears to your eyes, as I know it did mine. Whether it is Schubert or Brahms, Mr. Quasthoff has the pulse of these poignant and deeply touching songs. The piano accompaniment by Justus Zeyen is perfect and I can't think of a better introduction to this artist than this exquisite DGG release. A real bargain and for you all, I wish for hours and hours of pleasing listening and a huge God bless yall"---L.O.L. Tony. AMDG!!
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